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They're Great, But Not The Greatest

A casual sports fan is asked who the greatest basketball player of all time is. Without thinking too long the fan replies and says Michael Jordan. When asked who the greatest football player is, the fan says Jim Brown. The fan continues to answer the same question from various sports. Gretzky, Pele, Mays, Robinson etc... The answers the fan gives are generally accepted by most sport pundits.

A casual fight fan is asked who the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time is. The fan responds with Buakaw Por. Pramuk, and Ramon Dekkers. Which, unfortunately is what most fight fans would say. 

According to various highlight reels, and from his fans, Ramon Dekkers was the first foreign fighter to win fighter of the year in Thailand. This is not true at all. They claim he won the award in 1992, but the actual winner was Jaroensap Kiatbanchong. It is possible he won best foreign fighter, but he never won fighter of the year, yet many still believe he did. Kind of hard to be fighter of the year when you never held a title in any of the major stadiums (Lumpinee Stadium, and Rajadamnern Stadium) isn't it? His fans claim he beat the best fighters from Thailand, and on occasions he did. He violently took out Coban Lookchaomaesaitong, and also holds wins over Nampon NongkeePahuyuth, and Sangtienoi Sor. Rungrot. Granted Sangtienoi had seen better days, and Nampon had a fun night on the town the day before, but still, he got the W's. But more times than not he was outclassed by the Thai's. The same 3 names above also have wins over Dekkers, as does former fighter of the year Orono Por. Muang Ubon. The ever popular Sakmongkol Sitnchuchoke was only 17 when he beat Dekkers. Den Muangsurin outclassed him over 5 rounds, and a prime Sangtienoi clowned him. Being an 8 time world champion is great, but the true world champ has to get it in Lumpinee, or Raja. 

At the end of the day Ramon Dekkers was an awesome fighter, and a top 10 foreign Muay Thai fighter, but not the best Muay Thai fighter ever, or even top 50 or 100 for that matter. Joe "OHHH" Rogan and his comments about Dekkers, and Kaman being the greatest are incongruous and flat out not true. 

Where to begin with Buakaw Por. Pramuk? First off being a champion in K-1 does not make you the greatest Muay Thai fighter ever. Second, like Dekkers, Buakaw never held any major stadium titles. He was ranked high at one point and may have became a champion had he stayed in Thailand, but he chose the money, the myth, and the fame. Even in his homeland most people view him more as an attraction or celebrity, and not a fighter. Would the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time and his handlers refuse to fight the best? Buakaw and his camp do. They've been running from the best Thai's for years, hence why he's viewed as a celebrity and not a fighter. It is rumored he accepted a fight with Yodsanklai Fairtex to take place sometime in the upcoming months. Will it happen? I highly doubt it. If it does happen? Myth takes a beating. 

Great ambassador for Muay Thai? I suppose. Greatest Muay Thai fighter ever? Not even in the discussion. He is to Muay Thai as Royce Gracie is to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

Ramon Dekkers, and Buakaw Por. Pramuk both have there place in fighting history. One as a ballsy "turbine from hell" who would fight the best and always put on a fun fight regardless of whether he won or not. The other, a good Muay Thai fighter who took his skills and abilities to kickboxing and became great in that sport. But please people, don't confuse Muay Thai with kickboxing. 

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FEG Might Hold a Press Conference Soon. Might.

FEG, Fighting and Entertainment Group has been quiet lately. Outside of the news that we might get some news in May and maybe a show in July, we've heard nothing. There have been persisting rumors about FEG changing it's name, as well as some fans believing that K-1 might even have a name change of sorts. That sort of talk is borderline ridiculous, as K-1 is a global brand with so much value to it. Imagine if UFC decided the name just didn't make sense for them anymore? It would be brand suicide. Don't expect a K-1 name change.

According to NOB, Tanikawa plans on a press conference next week, or the week after (oh FEG, even flaky on your death bed), maybe, to talk about a possible name change and what the future holds. The truth is, if you expect any solid answers out of FEG in regards to what is going on and what to expect, you are either new to the Japanese fight scene or your faith in it brings a tear to my eye.

If you are worried about Tanikawa, never fear, he put up a video on Yfrog, and his hair is as terrible as ever. [source]

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No K-1 Until at LEAST July, Maybe

Amidst all of the talk of the possibility of Sakikabara, formerly of PRIDE, involved in one of the biggest yakuza scandals in Japanese MMA that led to the death of PRIDE and the Zuffa purchase, returning to promote MMA again, there is some news on FEG's future.

Daniel Herbertson spoke with FEG USA's Mike Kogan, and by the looks of things, FEG is planning on still hosting K-1, K-1 MAX and DREAM events in 2011, as long as things pan out. The voluntary shut down was supposed to last until March, and with March fast approaching, it looks like the new target date is May.

FEG USA's Mike Kogan this week confirmed to MMA Fighting that the leading Japanese promoter's internal restructuring will not be completed until at least May and no FEG events are expected until at least July. 

At the moment, FEG is planning to continue all three of its major events (K-1, K-1 MAX and DREAM), although that is obviously subject to change and it is clear that the events will be scaled down.

The financial state of FEG is still uncertain and Kogan was unable to confirm whether Chinese backer PUJI or any sponsors are still involved in FEG events. It seems as though Dynamite, K-1 MAX and DREAM broadcaster TBS has not signed on for 2011 yet, all signs are indicate that a new contract will be discussed after FEG's restructuring process is complete.

Dan's awesome Nippon Weekly has lots of information about Sakakiraba and what's new in Japanese MMA, so check that out. [source]

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Weekly Poll Results

Last week's results: After his loss at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva, what now for Ray Sefo?

55% - Focus on being a trainer, not a fighter

26% - Stop MMA and focus on kickboxing for one final run

11% - Keep doing what he's doing

8% - Stop kickboxing and focus full time on MMA

This week - a pretty straight forward question:

Who is K-1's Greatest of All Time?

Vote now!

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